Ten new-gen­er­a­tion WRC cars en­tered for Monte

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Ten new gen­er­a­tion World Rally Cars will start the open­ing round of this year’s World Rally Cham­pi­onship in Monte Carlo next week.

The or­gan­is­ers of the sea­sonopen­ing French Alps event re­vealed a 76-strong en­try last week. Reign­ing world cham­pion Se­bastien Ogier runs at car one, mak­ing his de­but in a Ford Fi­esta WRC. The French­man con­tin­ued his prepa­ra­tions for the Gap-based rally, test­ing in France un­til the mid­dle of this week.

Ott Tanak and El­fyn Evans are the other point-scor­ing M-sport en­tries, with the Welsh­man the only 2017 World Rally Car run­ning DMACKS.

Hyundai fields cars for Hay­den Pad­don, Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo as ex­pected, while there’s a Citroen C3 WRC apiece for Kris Meeke and Stephane Le­feb­vre. Craig Breen starts his cam­paign in a DS 3 WRC.

Jari-matti Lat­vala and Juho Han­ni­nen – Toy­ota’s full-timers – will give Toy­ota’s Yaris WRC its de­but.

The WRC2 se­ries is headed by Rally Aus­tralia win­ner An­dreas Mikkelsen, who starts his sea­son in a fac­tory Skoda Fabia R5 ( see above). There are 11 other en­tries in WRC2 and six starters in WRC3. There’s dis­ap­point­ment in the WRC Tro­phy se­ries, where cur­rently only Greek driver Jourdan Serderidis starts in his DS 3 WRC.

Con­versely, the FIA R-GT Cup has four starters – in­clud­ing for­mer Monte win­ner Fran­cois Dele­cour, who runs one of three Abarth 124s. His coun­try­man Ro­main Du­mas starts as favourite in a Porsche 911.

Hyundai’s Kevin Ab­bring starts in an i20 R5 with a new co-driver, Mar­tijn Wy­daeghe, af­ter his for­mer nav­i­ga­tor Seb Mar­shall an­nounced his in­ten­tion to strike out on a new chal­lenge.

Ogier will kick off his M-sport ca­reer

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